Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Emmanuel Macron gives a speech on secularism on 2 October, before the death of Samuel Paty, in which he said Islam was ‘experiencing a crisis across the world’. But more importantly, Turkey is already in a number of disputes with France. Islamic separatism, which Macron describes as a deviation of Islam, is “a conscious, theorised, politico-religious project, which is materialised by … In Libya, his initial objection to Islamist influence in Tripoli’s Government of National Accord has morphed into a conflict with Turkey after Ankara sprang to the GNA’s aid. The call in some accounts took the form of a lecture, and in others an appeal to cooperate more closely in a common cause. He warns that the Nato alliance may become brain dead since Turkey, a fellow member, is ambivalent about the defence of western values. His calculation will be that so long as he makes the final round, the left as before has nowhere else to go. There were also balancing passages about the state as guarantor of the freedom of religion, economic disenfranchisement, and the French colonial legacy. Either way this is not a fight Macron is likely to abandon. In Syria, Macron objects to the Turkish attacks on the Kurdish YPG militia, France’s allies in the war against Isis. France’s interior minister said the upcoming anti-separatism bill will include a prison sentence of up to five years for people who refuse a doctor of the opposite sex. This threat is likely to appear hollow for Muslims if they are subjected to a hostile environment from a liberal president. These disputes – over Syria, Libya, Nato, gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and Armenia – each have their own context and specifics, but they all stem from a French suspicion of Erdoğan’s ambitions to lead a revived Sunni Islam. In the passage has proved most provocative in Turkey, he said: “Islam is a religion that is experiencing a crisis across the world,” in reference to Islamic State jihadism and also Wahhabism, the Saudi extremist ideology, and Salafism. French Muslims should be Mr. Macron’s greatest allies against violent terrorism. It is a vision that thinks that a weak republic is about to be invaded by an internal enemy. The UK has fought the same violent extremism without crippling its citizens. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. But Erdoğan will draw his own strength from the condemnations of Macron across the Arab world. But in France, they are asked to do so by hiding visible signs of their religion for fear of offending the state. French products are the subject of a boycott. A commentator even suggested that Muslim women remove their veils to express their solidarity with Paty. TV networks broadcast “anti-separatist” plans by government ministers such as banning polygamy (it’s already illegal) or stopping supermarkets from selling halal food. What was intended as a classroom exploration of the freedom of thought has turned into a mini-clash of civilisations. In the Mediterranean, he equates Greek interests with those of Europe, leaving Germany to mediate. On Monday, he explicitly joined the call for a boycott of French goods, and claimed: “It becomes more and more difficult to be a Muslim and live an Islamic lifestyle in western countries.” This has a long way to run. It contained a number of proposals to regulate imams and mosques.
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